新华网评·“疫”中人|我只是其中一个缩影

The Prussian minister replied that he could not conceive why he should be refused an audience; that he should not fail to be at the council-chamber at eleven oclock the next day to receive an answer to the proposals already made, and also to the proposals which he was prepared to make. He endeavored to inform Hartoff of the terms of compromise which the Prussian king was ready to present. But Hartoff refused to hear him, declaring that he had positive orders not to listen to any thing he had to say upon the subject. We will give the conclusion in the words of the Prussian minister, as found in his dispatch of the 18th of August, 1729: No, I answered; but I should like to make that journey. I am very curious to see the Prussian states and their king, of whom one hears so much. And now I began to launch out on Fredericks actions.

Voltaire has given a detailed account of the incidents connected with this visit to his Prussian majesty. It is a humiliating exhibition of the intrigues and insincerity which animated the prominent actors in those scenes.

At last, my dear sister, I can announce to you a bit of good news. You were doubtless aware that the Coopers with their circles had a mind to take Leipsic. I ran up and drove them beyond Saale. They called themselves 63,000 strong. Yesterday I went to reconnoitre them; could not attack them in the post they held. This rendered them rash. To-day they came out to attack me. It was a battle after ones own heart. Thanks to God,109 I have not one hundred men killed. My brother Henry and General Seidlitz have slight hurts. We have all the enemys cannon. I am in full march to drive them over the Unstrut. You, my dear sister, my good, my divine, my affectionate sister, who deign to interest yourself in the fate of a brother who adores you, deign also to share my joy. The instant I have time I will tell you more. I embrace you with my whole heart. Adieu. After the concert, which usually continued an hour, he engaged197 in conversation until ten oclock. He then took supper with a few friends, and at eleven retired to his bed.

In one short hour the gallant deed was done. But ten of the assailants were killed and forty-eight wounded. The loss of the Austrians was more severe. The whole garrison, one thousand sixty-five in number, and their materiel of war, consisting of fifty brass cannons, a large amount of ammunition, and the military chest, containing thirty-two thousand florins, fell into the hands of the victors. To the inhabitants of Glogau it was a matter of very little moment whether the Austrian or the Prussian banner floated over their citadel. Neither party paid much more regard to the rights of the people than they did to those of the mules and the horses.

Frederick had been three days and nights at work upon his fortress before the allies ventured forward to look into it. It was then a Gibraltar. Still for eight days more the spade was not intermitted. Cogniazo, an Austrian, writes: It is a masterpiece of art, in which the principles of tactics are combined with those of field fortifications as never before.

The chagrin of Frederick in view of this adventure may be inferred from the fact that, during the whole remainder of his life, he was never known to make any allusion to it whatever.

FREDERICK AND WILHELMINA.

Lafayette, Lord Cornwallis, and the Duke of York were his565 guests at the dinner-table that day. The king suffered from his exposure, was very feverish, and at an early hour went to bed. The next day he completed his review; and the next day wentround by Neisse, inspection not to be omitted there, though it doubles the distanceto Brieg, a drive of eighty miles, inspection work included.196

The queen was alone, in his majestys apartment, waiting for him as he approached. As soon as he saw her at the end of the suite of rooms, and long before he arrived in the one where she was, he cried out, Your unworthy son has at last ended himself. You have done with him.

All the friends of Fritz were treated by the infuriate father with the most cruel severity. No mercy was shown to any one who had ever given the slightest indication of sympathy with the Crown Prince. A bookseller, who had furnished Fritz with French books, was cruelly exiled to the remote shores of the Baltic, on the extreme northern frontiers of Prussia. A French gentleman, Count Montholieu, who had loaned the Crown Prince money, would probably have perished upon the scaffold had he not escaped by flight. His effigy was nailed to the gallows.

The carousal presented a very splendid spectacle. It took place by night, and the spacious arena was lighted by thirty thousand torches. The esplanade of the palace, which presented an ample parallelogram, was surrounded by an amphitheatre of rising seats, crowded with the beauties and dignitaries of Europe. At one end of the parallelogram was a royal box, tapestried with the richest hangings. The king sat there; his sister, the Princess Amelia, was by his side, as queen of the festival. Where the neglected wife of Frederick was is not recorded. The entrance for the cavaliers was opposite the throne. The jousting parties consisted of four bands, representing Romans, Persians, Carthaginians, and Greeks. They were decorated with splendid equipments of jewelry, silver helmets, sashes, and housings, and were mounted on the most spirited battle-steeds which Europe could furnish. The scene was enlivened by exhilarating music, and by the most gorgeous decorations and picturesque costumes which the taste and art of the times could create. The festivities were closed by a ball in the vast saloons of the palace, and by a supper, where the tables were loaded with every delicacy.

I have begun to settle the figure of Prussia. The outline will be altogether regular; for the whole of Silesia is taken in except one miserable hamlet, which perhaps I shall have to keep blockaded until next spring. Up to this time the whole conquest has cost me only twenty men and two officers.